Department of State Publication 10850
Bureau of Consular Affairs
The information in this publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission. When this material is reproduced, the Department of State would appreciate receiving a copy at: CA/P, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818.
How to Prepare for a Safe Trip
The policies of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa toward foreign visitors vary greatly from country to country. Some countries encourage tourism and put very few restrictions on visitors.
Other countries do not allow tourism and carefully regulate business travel. Some areas in the region have experienced military conflict over an extended period.
A little planning and knowledge will go a long way toward making your trip to the Middle East and North Africa go smoothly. If you learn about the countries you will visit and obey the laws and respect the customs of those places, you can make your stay as pleasant and incident-free as possible.
Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements & Travel Warnings
The State Departmentís Bureau of Consular Affairs is responsible for providing assistance and information to U.S. citizens traveling abroad. Consular Affairs issues Consular Information Sheets , Travel Warnings , and Public Announcements . Consular Information Sheets are issued for every country in the world. They include such information as the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the subject country, health conditions, political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.
The State Department also issues Travel Warnings and Public Announcements . Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets . Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other conditions overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers.
How to Access Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements & Travel Warnings
By Internet: The most convenient source of information about travel and consular services is the Consular Affairs home page on the Internetís World Wide Web. The web site address is http://travel.state.gov . If you do not have access to the Internet at home, work or school, your local library may provide access to the Internet.
By Telephone: Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings may be heard any time by dialing the office of American Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225 from a touch-tone phone.
By Fax: From your fax machine, dial (202) 647-3000 , using the handset as you would a regular telephone. The system will instruct you on how to proceed.
By Mail: Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to: Office of American Citizens Services, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818 . On the outside envelope, write the name of the country or countries needed in the lower left corner.